The main supportive structure of the foot is its arch. When the arch loses strength, the bony framework begins to collapse, causing the foot to flatten. This weakness in the middle of the foot causes strain at the joints of both ends of the foot.
There are many causes of flat feet. Some are born with it, other acquire them due to arthritis, trauma, or musculoskeletal disorders. The excess strain from flat feet can cause other problems such as bunions, hammer toes, heel spurs, corns, arch strain, etc. Flat feet can also affect other parts of the body, causing stiffness in the ankles, knees, hips and lower back… as well as causing pain and fatigue.
Chances are that non-surgical treatment, such as custom-fitted orthotics, can help the problem and aleve pain. If flat feet cause chronic pain, surgery may be needed to correct the alignment of the bones in the feet or to reinforce the tendon structures of the foot.